Warburg Nature Reserve
Please note: the nature reserve and car park are open as normal, but the visitor centre and toilets are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Know before you go
Parking informationFrom the A4130 turn into Bix Village. Turn left into Rectory Lane. Go down steep hill and turn left at bottom, signposted Bix Bottom. Continue on lane (some potholes so drive carefully) for about 1 mile until reaching the car park on the right.
1 mile Wildlife Walk on the reserve. Warburg Nature Reserve can be accessed on foot from Maidensgrove and also Nettlebed. Download the Henley Wild Walk leaflet.
Variable, mostly steep paths and loose flint, flat grassy path; muddy in valley bottom after rain; benches.
Mobility vehicle available - please contact us before visiting on 01491 642001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
When to visit
Opening timesReserve open at all times
Toilets open at all times
Interpretation Centre open daily 9am - 5pm
(There is no cafe at this centre)
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Ash dieback safety works will be taking place here from January 2020. Diseased ash trees can become very unstable. The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust is employing specialist contractors to fell diseased trees where they pose a risk to public safety. The work is being timed to minimise the impact on wildlife. Trees have been surveyed and where possible important bird and bat habitat will be retained. To minimise the number of trees we need to remove and to ensure the safety of visitors, some paths will be closed.
To find out more, read our ash dieback FAQ
High up in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Warburg Nature Reserve is a remote and magnificent place, rich in exciting plants and animals all through the year. The flower-rich grasslands in the valley bottom give way to extensive woodlands rising up the valley sides. It is the richest BBOWT site in the three counties for orchids. From April right through to August orchids can be found in all of the habitats, including fly orchid and bird's-nest orchid. Warburg Nature Reserve even has its own microclimate with exceptionally cold temperatures on winter nights.
The reserve is home to an incredible range of habitats sheltering thousands of species, and each season there is something interesting to experience.
This is my favourite wild place to come for a walk - you can't match it. BBOWT member
In spring, the woodland is awash with spectacular bluebells and wood anemones. In May and June the reserve has a dawn chorus second to none. The wide sunny rides and open glades of chalk grassland are full of summer flowers, including pyramidal orchid and swathes of aromatic wild marjoram and thyme. These are followed by autumn and Chiltern gentians and glorious colours throughout the tree canopy, while down below, an incredible 900 species of fungi grow. In winter, you can enjoy magical frost along the valley bottom.
Oddities and rarities
In July you can see the yellow bird's-nest, a strange leafless plant that grows in some of the darkest parts of the beech wood. Warburg Nature Reserve is also wonderful for rare butterflies. Oaks provide food for purple hairstreak caterpillars, while the silver-washed fritillary lays its eggs in bark crevices above violets on the ground below.
Nature Detectives Trail
It's free, it's fun and it's great for all the family! From the Interpretation Centre families can pick up a special backpack that includes games, trail notes and spotter sheets for wildlife as tiny as beetles and as big as red kites. Children can follow the trail through the woods, the wildlife pond and the grassy glades at their own pace.
Sustainable charcoal is now available to buy at Warburg Nature Reserve.
Reserve champions - supporting their favorite reserve
Sally Burton: "In memory of our beloved daughter Corinne Julia Burton (27/11/1970-24/05/2010)."
Things to do
- Try our circular Wildlife Walk (1 mile). Just follow the badger waymarkers.
- Come along to one of our seasonal guided walks.
- Explore the reserve and surrounding area with our Henley Wild Walk. Starting in Henley, this 21km circular walk includes Warburg Nature Reserve. There is a shorter 8km section that can start from the reserve or Nettlebed. OS Explorer Map 171, 1:25,000 scale, covers the route of this walk.
- Volunteer! Join our regular work party on the reserve.
- Help look after our livestock as a volunteer stockwatcher.